Our trailblazer was in a good place. He had a good family and they had already moved out and away from their former surroundings to a new land. But God said to move on out, and he did.
Abram’s father Terah had already taken his son, Abram’s wife Sarai, and his grandson (Abram’s nephew) Lot and moved away from Ur, the land of the Chaldeans. The people they left behind would later become Babylon’s most prolific and prosperous. They would be people of the world, wise in their own eyes, independent thinkers, progressive. Terah had already moved his family away from this clan. Wasn’t that enough? To be separated from the world? To have taken one step in the right direction?
But later God would say to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you…” Haran, the placed where Terah had settled with his family, was not the final destination. God wanted Abram to move on out. (Genesis 11:26 – 12:5)
And Abram did. He picked up, packed up,
planned out his trip and went forth. To where? He had no idea. He just began the journey as God had directed.
I don’t know if Abram was the adventurous kind who had always been itching to move on anyhow, kind of like George Bailey of It’s a Wonderful Life, or if he was more of a homebody, anxious to go no where. I don’t know if he really just loved it in Haran or if he was ready to shake the sand of that small town from his feet and move on to greater things. And I don’t know if his wife Sarai looked at him like he was crazy when he broke the news to her, or if she turned to start packing immediately, muttering “finally!” under her breath.
But I do know that God interrupted Abram’s life as he’d known it for a number of years and called him to move on out to a mystery location and Abram did it. God spoke and Abram moved. He began a journey that would affect the world we live in forevermore.
God has asked me to move at times too. Some of those moves were welcomed and anticipated. Some were less than enticing and difficult to follow through with. Some caused tears. Others caused joy.
Many moves were physical. I packed my belongings, got in a car or an airplane, and moved my household from one location to another. I left one life and started another in a new place, with new people, with new circumstances.
Other moves were…not so physical. Sometimes God asked me to move into a new job, into a new calling, into a new relationship. Out of an old job, out of a familiar calling, away from a relationship.
Get up and pack up. Get ready to move forward. Life as you know it is about to end and things are about to change. I am doing something new now. It’s time to move on.
Are those familiar marching orders for you? I know I have several military folks who read this blog. Those orders are all too familiar to you, of course. Others are in the ministry and you’ve walked in my shoes countless times. And then there are those of you who have lost of job or a home or a way of life in recent years due to economic troubles in our land. Most of us are familiar to some degree or another with “Go forth…”
The question is how do we handle it? Do we do like Abram and get up and go, no questions asked, ready for the road and willing to travel on? Or do we sit down and stew about it? Do we argue with God, assume we must have misunderstood? Do we drag our feet and mutter our displeasure under our breath? Do we take a few steps forward and then look back, like Lot’s wife would later do – remember her?
Where was Abram headed? The Promised Land. A place God hadn’t named yet, but it was a place of blessing. A place where God would multiply Abram’s family, bless him, make his name great, bless others through him, and ultimately bless the whole world through him. Wow. No wonder Abram up and moved.
When God requires we get up and move – whatever kind of move that might be – we can trust that He has blessings in store for us too. I’ve had moves where I moved from a larger house to a smaller one, a prettier neighborhood to a less attractive one, good friendships to not so many friendships, and a thriving ministry to no ministry at all. But in every move God has eventually brought good into my life – good that never would have come had I stayed still and refused to budge. God always blesses obedience.
I don’t necessarily feel like God is calling me to move anywhere right now. He’s not asking me to pack my things and move on. But he may be calling you to do that very thing. If He is, you can trust Him.
Has God asked you to “move on out” before? How did you do it? What did it require of you? What did you gain from it? I’d love to hear from you today!